Ute Water raising rates starting January

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) – This New Year’s, add one more thing to your list of resolutions: budgeting a little more for water.

Ute Water Conservancy District announced Tuesday it will be raising its water rates starting January 2013.

The minimum for the first 3,000 gallons of water will jump from $15 to $17. The minimum rate for other tap sizes will increase proportionally, says Joe Burtard, public relations officer for the district.

Those who use over 3,000 gallons per billing cycle will have a $0.10 increase in each tier. Tap fees will go up from $5,800 to $6,500.

The new rates will show up on bills after January 31, 2013.

The rate hike comes after the board of directors decides to purchase water from the Ruedi Reservoir to keep up with growing demand.

A 2011 raw water study found that by 2045, Ute Water will be serving about 197,000 consumers. Right now, the district serves more than 80,000 people in Mesa County.

If population and drought projections are correct, by 2045, the district will need an additional water supply of 21,400 acre-feet to meet the demands of 80 gallons per capita per day.

In what Burtard calls a proactive approach to ensure our water supply, the district will purchase 12,000 acre-feet of water from the Ruedi Reservoir, paying $1,297.90 per acre-foot.

This is the largest single water purchase that Ute Water has ever made.

The Ruedi Reservoir is about 15 miles north of Basalt, Colo., and holds 102,000 acre-feet of water.

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